Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Family Squabble

Young cub growls at dad for waking him up

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania 2011

A young lion cub learned not to growl at his father the same day the father learned not to growl back or lash out at the cub.

A mother lion, sitting with two unshown cubs off camera, dialed up her maternal courage when the one baby lion got upset at dad for waking him up from a nap. The father, like most, does not tolerate "back talk" and was about to whack the cub as a lesson when mom intervened.

She stood up to the 500 pound male, one of the largest ever captured on film in the wild, and gave him a swipe on the nose.

He took it in stride and the entire family made up before going back to sunbathing.

"The incident was photographed by Elliott Neep who said: 'It was like he was telling him "Don't snarl at me", the mum came over and said "keep it calm" but then slapped the dad with her claws out, leaving a scratch.

'He retaliated and slapped back but kept his claws in. It was extremely brave of her to stand up to him. At just a couple of months old, the cub still needs the protection of its mother.

'If she had not been there the dad would have probably whacked the cub so hard it would have knocked him over.'

The 36-year-old, from Wantage, Oxfordshire, added: 'I have been photographing lions for many years but this was the biggest I have ever seen. Lions normally weigh up 450lbs and I would say this one was at least that - possibly around 500lbs.

'He didn't appear to have any battle marks, which is unusual for a pride male. I imagine he is so big nobody else dares fight him."

Mom and dad have a brief altercation

Mom wins

The family comes together again at the end...

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